Wine Regions in Portugal
In Spain, Portugal’s neighbor on the Iberian Peninsula, the Douro River is called the Duero and as the river winds its way through both countries towards the Atlantic Ocean, spectacular wines come from vineyards along its banks. Portugal’s Douro Valley is the oldest official wine appellation in the world and is the heart of Portugal’s wine industry.
A visit to the Douro should start in its picturesque capital city, Porto (or Oporto). This is the historic home of the famous British Port Shippers and you can still tour and taste wines in their barrel-filled warehouses. Familiar names like Dow, Fonseca, Graham, Taylor, Cockburn, Warre and many more are all fascinating to visit.
Learning about how Port is made and tasting the various categories and styles could occupy your entire vacation but no trip would be complete without a tour by boat up the Douro River to see the vineyards. Perched on incredibly steep slopes, the views are dazzling. Some wine estates (quintas) like Quinta da Pacheca or Quinta do Panascal welcome visitors without appointments. Some quintas now have elegant lodging and high-end restaurants as well.
If you plan to visit other regions of Portugal such as Lisbon, the wine country of Alentejo offers an opportunity to taste rich red wines. In the north, Vinho Verde is famous for light, slightly fizzy white wines. Wherever your travels take you in Portugal, good wine and good food can be found.